Monday Musings ~ August 12, 2019

Happy Monday, peeps! Hope you had a terrific weekend. We were busy at the Ranch putting the final touches on the new BarkBook making it ready for downloading in the shop. To wet your good pup’s taste buds, here’s a sample of some of the delicious (and easy to make) treats from it.

🦴 Cheesy Applesauce Bites

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 cup applesauce

1/3 cup water

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/cup oatmeal

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375º F.  Combine cheddar, applesauce and water in a small bowl. Combine flour and oatmeal in a large bowl. Blend cheese-applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Knead into a dough and turn onto a floured surface. Roll dough to 1/4-1/2” thickness and sprinkle with Parmesan. Cut with cookie cutters (or use a pizza cutter and cut into small squares). Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 mins. (longer if biscuits are thicker).

Store in an air-tight container in refrigerator and consume in 1 week or freeze for up to 3 weeks.

And because every Monday should start out with a smile, how about a little poodle food to remind you to smile and eat your veggies? Happy Monday.

Poodle food

BarkBook

Live, love, bark!

All American Pet Photo Day ~ July 11, 2019

Pet Photo Day

All around Blogville today, people in the US will be celebrating the All-American Pet Photo Day (“AAPPD”). The Knuckleheads from the ‘Ranch’ are inviting all our fur-iends from around the world to join us today. What little I could find out about this latest calendar ‘howliday’ seemed to indicate the AAPPD was created…you guessed it, due to an algorithm (collected data pointed to an especially large number of pet photos being posted on social media platforms on July 11th). It’s a somewhat new-ish holiday, being created within the past few of years but it has always been observed on July 11th.

It is estimated over half of American households have pets, making it an easy to ‘pawticipate.’ Obviously, dogs and cats are the most popular pets, but those who have birds, fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles, lizards, and other pets are encouraged to  participate.

Although I celebrate these two characters every day, today will be an extra special opportunity to humble brag on about them on social media. So further ado, here are the ‘Ranch hands’ just for today. Do you plan to post an image of your pet-kid today? We’ll be looking for you on Instagram. Sam

Elsa

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Did You Know ~ Essential Oils and Dogs

You’ve heard me talk about the benefits of using essential oils before and how you can incorporate them into your arsenal of homeopathic options. Did you know essential oils can be utilized in multiple ways?

Essential oils

*NOTE: Melaleuca (Tea Tree oil) and wintergreen oils are toxic to pets and never recommended for use.

Here is a list of 16 safe essential oils to use on dogs.

  1. Carrot seed (Daucus carota) oil works well on dry skin prone to infection. Contains anti-inflammatory properties, with moderate antibacterial effects. Can also rejuvenate and stimulate tissue regeneration; it’s a good oil to use for healing scars.
  2. Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) oil is antiseptic, tonifying, and it can stimulate blood circulation. Good for skin and coat conditioning and dermatitis of all types. Cedarwood has safe flea-repelling properties and is a safe to add to any flea-repellent blend for dogs.
  3. German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) essential oil is anti-inflammatory. Safe and gentle to use on dogs and very effective  controlling skin irritations caused by allergies, eczema, rashes, etc. Bonus, it’s a good oil for healing burns.
  4. .Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) has different properties from German Chamomile. It is antispasmodic, pain relieving, and nerve-calming. A gentle oil to use for soothing and calming anxious dogs and effective for relief of muscle pains, cramps, puppy teething pain.
  5.  Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) also has calming effects by sedating the central nervous system. Can be used to calm anxious dogs, but should only be used in small amounts properly diluted. NOTE: Do not use with pregnant dogs.
  6.  Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) is antiviral and anti-inflammatory. It is also an expectorant and is an excellent oil for use to relieve upper respiratory congestion (e.g. kennel cough), and when your good dog is having trouble breathing smoothly. There are two common eucalyptus oils: Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiata. E. globulus has a stronger, harsher scent and may be overwhelming. E. radiata has a milder scent, is milder chemically-speaking as well and when diluted properly, E. radiata is safe for dogs, both topically and for inhalation. Be sure NOT to let your dog ingest. Note: Do NOT use on small dogs and puppies or on dogs prone to seizures.
  7.  Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) is safe and gentle to use as a strong antifungal for dogs. Good for skin irritations (especially caused by yeast infections), and fungal ear infections in dogs. It is also effective in repelling tick if you make your own tick-repelling oil blend.
  8.  Ginger (Zingiber officinale) when properly diluted, is non-irritating and safe to use on dogs in small amounts to treat motion sickness, because it has anti-nausea properties. Helpful with digestion and tummy upset,  Ginger also has pain relieving properties. When used topically, it can help relieve pain in dogs with arthritis, dysplasia, strains and sprains.
  9.  Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) is an expensive oil with numerous therapeutic properties. It is anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and has regenerative effects and a good oil to have if your dog has skin issues, such as skin irritations, eczema, pyoderma, etc. Works well to heal wounds, such as bruises, scars, cuts, etc. (this works wonders on uprights too-I couldn’t get by without it for treating rotator cuff pain).
  10.  Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Don’t confused true Lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia) with Spike Lavender essential oil (Lavandula latifolia). While true Lavender oil is very safe and gentle and can be used with most dogs, Spike Lavender oil should NOT be used with pregnant dogs. True Lavender oil has antibacterial, anti-itch, and nerve-calming properties and is good for many common ailments and problems, e.g. skin irritations, anxiety, insect bites, cuts and burns, etc. Lavender has calming properties for dogs who are stressed, nervous, or agitated. A study found that Lavender could calm excited dogs while traveling in cars.
  11. Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)  has strong antibacterial properties. It is also calming and a muscle relaxant, can be used for bacterial skin infections and wound care. Sweet Marjoram also has insect-repelling properties.
  12.  Niaouli (Melaleuca Quinquenervia) If you or your dog don’t mind the scent of this oil, Niaouli is a must-have oil compared to Tea Tree oil (which may cause irritation) and is safe to use as an effective antiseptic oil that can disinfect and help fight bacterial infections.
  13.  Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) stimulates blood circulation and antispasmodic so it is a great oil for dogs with acute pain. Can be used to soothe pain caused by swelling, sprains and strains. Has anti-nausea properties, and works well with ginger to help dogs with motion sickness. It is generally safe when properly diluted and used topically, or for diffusion in low dilution. Note: Peppermint oil should not be used on small or pregnant dogs.
  14.  Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) has calming and uplifting effects for uprights and dogs and is good for dogs with anxiety, and/or depression. It can also stimulate a dog’s appetite. If your dog is not eating (maybe due to stress or depression), diffusing this oil before mealtime may help. With deodorizing and flea-repelling properties, it can be added to your homemade dog shampoo.
  15.  Thyme ct. Linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool) There are many different chemotypes of Thyme essential oil but this is the only chemotype that is mild and safe enough for use on dogs. With pain relieving properties, it can be added to a blend to help with arthritis, rheumatism, or other joint pain. It’s also a powerful antibacterial, antifungal, with antiviral properties. It is an excellent choice for infections and other skin issues.
  16.  Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) has sedative and nerve-calming effects, and is good for helping dogs with anxiety such as separation and noise anxiety.

If you’ve ever experienced that stinking dog smell and it’s not convenient to rush them to a tub but this recipe can help get rid of that odor until you can (or to refresh in between baths).

Essential oils

Essential oil can also be used as a preventative measure when you’re not into chemicals. Just follow the old adage: “dilution is the solution” when preparing a remedy.Essential oils

A word of caution when using essential oils; they should be “therapeutic” grade (NOTE: “100% pure” is NOT the same as therapeutic which is safe to be ingested). Never allow your pet to ingest essential oils unless you’re using a therapeutic grade.

Have you used essential oils on your dog? Did it work for you?  We’re just beginning to experiment with aromatherapy recipes and achieving good  success. Last week (following the cluster of the Fourth of July), we used Wild Orange in a diffuser which helped chill Sam out sufficiently to handle a few noisy revelers over the holiday weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ July 8, 2019

Now that the dreaded Fourth is in the history books, let’s go back to smiling.

Dogs

Here’s wishing you a super week that includes lots of petting.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Meme ~ June 24, 2019

Reading is fun, even the Knuckleheads will stop and check out a neighbor’s Lending Library that has been cleverly designed into a Tardis Box. The big question is what will these guys learn? Happy Monday with best wishes for a brilliant week.

Reading

Live, love, bark! 🐾

High Flying Highlights

As I briefly noted in yesterday’s post, I was fortunate to volunteer at the Front Range Agility event over the weekend. For years, I’ve helped out the Colorado Old English Sheepdog Rescue group and enjoy helping them whenever I can and the group uses these volunteer events to help fund their outstanding rescue program. Normally I work the agility event that is coupled with a dog show around the same time as the AKC’s Westminster but this was a second smaller opportunity that I was happy to help them out with over the weekend. Here’s a very short video from the event.

According to AKA’s webpage, “Agility is a growing dog sport in the United States, with over 1 million entries to the AKC’s Agility Program each year. Dogs race against a clock as they navigate an obstacle course with strong concentration and speed.”  These amazing dogs are incredibly athletic and you can’t help but get excited when they compete.

Agility is a sport where you direct your dog through a pre-set obstacle course within a certain time limit. With between 14-20 obstacles, including tunnels, weave poles, tire jumps, seesaws, and pause tables where the dog must stop for a set amount of time, dogs race through the courses designed for that day.  The dog rely on cues and body language from their handler who directs them. All breeds, including mixed breeds, can participate in agility. Jumps vary from 4″ to 24″ and our ring mostly ran 12-24″ with a couple of dogs running at the shorter heights. There were multiple classes and levels including Novice, Regular, Jumpers With Weaves, and Master to name a few.

MACH stands for Master Agility Champion title and is awarded by the AKC . To achieve this title, dog and the handler compete as a team earning first Novice, Open, Excellent and then Master Titles. There are two games to achieve this title: Standard which includes the contact equipment (A-frame, bridge, teeter and table) and the Jumpers with Weaves. The Novice, Open and Excellent titles require three qualifying runs with progressively harder requirements and courses. The Master titles requires 10 perfect runs at the Masters Level. Qualifying runs at the Masters level also earn one speed point for each full second under course time (partial seconds are eliminated.). Once the team is competing with both runs in one day at the Master level they start to accumulate “Double Q’s”. A team earns a Double Q when they qualify 100% perfect on both runs in one day. To earn the MACH title, you must earn 20 double Q’s and 700 points, so no easy feat.

To my great surprise, I spotted one of our fellow pet therapists, Kai, who was competing in the ring I worked. Trust me when I say this beautiful Aussie is quite speedy and she had a perfect run. Being truly ignorant of the sport of agility, I could only stand back and watch as everyone whooped and hollered as an official brought out a MACH bar, signifying Miss Kai had won another title (her second I learned when I was able to personally congratulate Kai’s mom, Sue later that afternoon).

Here are a few photos I was able to capture when not working in the ring. Obviously there’s a lot of waiting until your event is up for that quick 25-40 second run. And there’s lots of barking by the competitors-they are so wound up to race. Most Shelties bark with enthusiasm as they clear each jump and race through the poles.

Agility

Running into this little girl upon arriving, I learned she was competing in her first event. She was young, sweet and totally devoted to her mom. Sorry for the blurry images, I only had my cell phone with me which isn’t very good with fast action shots.

Agility

She reminded me of Elsa though she was much smaller. I’m guessing this girl weighed in around 40 lbs. whereas Elsa hovers around 60. But she was pretty and seemed to enjoy agility.

In a big no-no, I snuck this image when I worked in the ring. Photos aren’t allowed from inside the ring at the time, and was unaware of the rule.

Agility

Even an OES competed. I’ve watched “Dallas” compete before and she is a total love. Dallas loves high flying, is a breeze to handle and is completed adored by her sweet mom, Meg who’s always gracious, warm and friendly, just like her cute panda-faced baby. Meg is a big supporter of the OES rescue group and always singles us out whenever she talks to people. Both her and her dog are favorites of competitors and spectators alike.

Agility

Here is Kai shortly after her winning run with the event official and ring judge.

Agility

Being part of the hospital pet therapy, I couldn’t be more proud of fellow therapist Miss Kai and her huMom, Sue who trained me and Sam when we joined the team.

Agility

Sue plans to continue racing Kai but at a lower height now that she’s earned two MACH titles. Kai is one of our top pet therapists whose love of people is evident whenever she encounters them at the hospital. I mean, just look at her face! How could anyone not want to hug this precious girl?

Agility

Hopefully future opportunities will present themselves so that I can continue volunteering for the OES rescue group and improving my knowledge about this fun and amazing sport. Have you ever considered participating in agility? What made you decide to get involved with it?

Tails Around the Ranch will be taking a few days off while we take time to visit with out of state family. Posts and comments will likely be infrequent but I’ll do my best getting around to seeing you as I can. Otherwise, we’ll see you next week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Heroes of Hope ~ 2019 Highlights

Hey sports fan, Sam here. You may remember from our earlier post where I ‘pawticipated’ in Lutheran’s annual Heroes of Hope – National Cancer Survivors Day® Celebration event. National Cancer Survivors Day® is a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families and an outreach to the community. Since mom screwed up publishing her Wednesday post on Tuesday (awk! good grief) and I’m not going to risk her messing this one up. I’ll be taking over today’s post by sharing highlights from the event. Leave important things to real professionals, I always say.

As a Knucklehead star athlete, we are expected to make an appearance on the Red Carpet stage (even if it’s black). I adjusted my cape, er…bandana and gave mom a “hurry up, let’s do this” look. Sheesh, sometimes she’s so inept behind the camera. I mean, there were oodles of others waiting their turns (translation: there are tons of peeps I need to visit). But then while I’m posing for mom, a lady walks up and asks for my autograph picture. Mom was kind of surprised but safe to say, that lady’s interest got my tail going.

Heroes of Hope

As a member of Lutheran’s Pet Therapy program, we also celebrate survivors and their families by participating in the 1K walk. Being a ‘distinguished’ (i.e. senior) pup, I held my nose high and the tongue out long keeping up with everyone, although my preference is to stop and chat with all the folks cheering us on along the course sidelines. Hey, I gotta keep my personal skills sharp, right? I mean…it’s free ear rubs for crying out loud! What Knucklehead passes those up? Nope not happening, thank you very much.

Heroes of Hope

The event began with the 10K race, followed by the 5K, and then the kid’s run. We bring up the rear with our 1K walk and there were lots of non pet therapy uprights in our group. But everyone loves watching the kid run. They are beyond adorable as they race (and sometimes toddle) down their course while the crowd cheers them on. Nothing makes my tail wag more than a bunch of kiddos running straight toward me!

Heroes of Hope

No celebration at this annual event is complete without some close ups of a few of the pet therapy dogs. This is my pal, “Little One,”  a former racer who now is a champion pet therapist. She has a gazillion visits under that billed cap. She and her mom recently rescued a Galgo greyhound from Spain who may be joining us once she’s all settled and becomes more socialized. Woo-hoo-another pawsome pet therapist!

Heroes of Hope

Then there’s my little pal, Zoe, one adorable little Corgi who steals the show whenever she shows up. Don’t tell anyone but she gets my tail seriously wagulating-just look at that sweet face!

Heroes of Hope

After our ‘race,’ we serious athletes needed to re-hydrate and I was no exception. Never fear, that’s good ole H2O in that cup. One of several.

Heroes of Hope

Once fully hydrated, I was able to get in some serious visiting with other individual racers and teams. The hospital had 14 teams running in the 5K and a number of folks on those teams are peeps I frequently visit when I’m at the hospital. Such cool people, with compassion with deep caring. I woofed for the team from the Lab, called “Out for Blood.” Zoe’s human sister works there and was on the team. I always love seeing her whenever I make hospital rounds. It’s always great fun greeting dogs, uprights, little peeps and enjoying some delicious snacks after the race and then checking out the various booths with healthful products, resources and info for anyone suffering from this horrible disease. It’s a good place to network and that’s when I ran into the newest member to the pet therapy team, Axel whose photo we shared on Monday. You can see where I photobombed him here. Axel is a Black Mouth Cur and should be a great addition to our program.

Those who win their respective race receive special recognition but I like to think anyone who’s willing to lend their support to kick cancer’s butt is No. 1 in our books.

This event definitely has had even more meaning for my mom whose dear friend Cheryl, battled cancer over this past year. We’re barking our kudos on her determination and courage. We love her and she’ll always be mom’s hero!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ May 6, 2019

Apparently someone isn’t quite ready to tackle the new week. How about you?

Elsa

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ May Day Edition

May Day
Photography: Johnny Fogg (from Martha Stewart)

Wishing you joy this May Day.

Live, love, bark! 🐾